Corning, Calif -- Rancho Tehama Elementary School is a kindergarten through 5th grade school and one of seven campuses of the Corning Union Elementary School District.
The Superintendent called this incident “every administrator’s nightmare.”
He said gunshots were first heard on the campus at 7-57 this morning, before school even started, and two minutes later, the campus was under lockdown.
Fitzpatrick said the gunman crashed a vehicle through the school, then began firing multiple shots towards the building.
Adding luckily, lockdown training kicked in and that kept this incident from becoming much worse.
“All staff were absolutely heroic in making sure that students were getting into the class rooms. As shots were being fired. This was a question of minutes. The preparedness of the school in getting the lockdown complete before he came around the corner in my professional opinion saved the loss of life in this situation,” said Fitzpatrick.
A little less than 100 students attend Rancho Tehama Elementary, adding that the area is a tight community where everyone watches out for one another.
Fitzpatrick did note that it took up to an hour to notify parents about the incident because its own phone system was practically shut down due to the amount of incoming phone calls from worried parents and family.
He added the school will be shut down for the rest of the week, as police continue to investigate.
and counselors will be available for those who need it.